I’ve made my fear of pate brise no secret. I blame certain family members who suckled me on the crust of incredibly flakey and light pie crusts during my formative years. As a result, I will generally do anything I can to avoid making pie crust. This has included, using passable proxies like shortbread or graham cracker to just baking a cake instead.
TD asked for an apple pie to go with the Gobbla’ Cobbla.’ And since I knew they he would be recruited to roll about 250 Schweddy Balls earlier in the day, I had no choice but to acquiesce. I began with Dorie Greenspan’s Good for Almost Anything Pie Dough. Her recipe calls for a mix of very cold butter and shortening.
It also uses food processor…which made it a winner in my book.
I cheated just a little and when it was time to form the two disks of dough for refrigeration, I rolled-one-out, fit it to the pie dish and then put it in the fridge.
You know how reading a recipe the entire way through is like baking rule #1. Well, I didn’t and so, when I went to prepare the filling I realized the Ms. Greenspan calls for quick-cooking tapioca. Quite possibly the single baking-type ingredient I did not have in my pantry. Undeterred, I jumped over to my cooking and baking bible, the Joy of Cooking and perused their apple pie recipes. This is when I discovered a recipe that cooks the apples before putting them into the pie. Intrigued (and having all the ingredients), I jumped in. The core of the idea (ha) is to saute the apple chunks in butter until nearly cooked. I like an apple pie with lots of apples and so, adjusted the filling recipe up.
Then they cool.
And only THEN do they go into the chilled pie-crust.
At this point, I still had very little faith in my pie baking skills and so, went rustic on the crust.
Oh but wait…what is this I see before me? A pretty gorgeous pie with what certainly looked like flakey crust.
After enjoying our Gobbla’ Cobbla’ and martinis, the moment of truth was upon us. A few cautious cuts and the resulting piece looked like a presentable piece of pie. Then I took a bite. My reaction was to employ an expletive involving a reflexive verb, a number larger than one and a day of the week beginning with T. Was this it? Had I finally stumbled across the holy grail of apple pie? Just to be on the safe side, we conducted further research the next day. In fact, the picture below was taken the next day.
I fully intended on making this pie again before posting the recipe. Sadly, time has not been on my side. And so, I leave it to you dear readers to vet what I think might just be a very excellent pie recipe.
New Mumford and Sons
If you like this, you might like these
Russian Grandmother’s Apple Pie-Cake
Tarte de Pommes a la Normande
Misanthropic Hostess Apple Pie
adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough and Joy of Cooking’s Apple Pie II recipes
For the Crust
Ingredients (this is for a double crust)
- 1 1 /2 C all-purpose flour
- 2 TBS sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 10 TBS frozen unsalted butter cut into 1/2 TBS sized-pieves
- 2 1/2 TBS frozen vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pievs
- 1/4 or so of iced water
- Place flour, sugar and salt in the food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse to just combined the ingredients.
- Drop-in butter and shortening and pulse only until both are cut-into the flour–think un-even bits ranging from to pea-to-orzo sized.
- Pulsing the processor on-and-off, add about 6 TBS a little at a time by pulsing and repeating. Then, use a few longer pulses to incorporate the water into the flour. Big pieces of butter in the dough, are fine (and encouraged). If needed, continue to add water a few drops at-a-time until the dough sticks together when pinched.
- Scrape dough out of processor and onto a floured surface. Divide the dough in half, form two disks (or cheat like I did and roll-out one and place it in a deep pie dish). Wrap everything in plastic and refrigerate at least an hour before using.
For the Filling
- 4 LBS apples (I used a mix of Granny Smith and Fiji)
- 4 TBS unsalted butter
- 3/4 C sugar
- 1/2 TSP ground cinnamon
- 1/8 TSP salt
- Peel and core apples, cutting as desired (I used a rustic chop with pieces about the size of large almonds).
- In a very large skillet or pot, heat butter over high heat until sizzling and fragrant.
- Add apples and toss until glazed with the butter.
- Reduce the heat to medium, cover tightly and cook, stirring often. until the apples are softened but still slightly crunchy.
- Stir in the sugar, cinnamon and salt.
- Increase heat to high and cook at a rapid boil until the juices become thick and syrupy (about 3 minutes)
- Immediately spread the apples i na thin layer on a baking sheet. Let cool to room temperature.
To Assemble and Bake
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
- On a floured surface, roll-out your bottom layer of dough. Be sure to turn the dough often. Gently place dough into the pan, do not stretch dough.
- Fill with apples and place in fridge while rolling-out second crust.
- Roll out second crust.
- Remove filled-pan from fridge and trim the edges of the dough so there is about 1/2 inch overhang.
- Center the second piece of dough over the pie and press it against the bottom crust.
- Trim the top crust to overhand just slightly over the bottom crust.
- Pinch the crust (or roll up) to create a sealed edge.
- Cut vents for steam and brush with egg wash if desired.
- Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes until the crust is a rich, golden brown.
- Let cool and then sit for at least 4 hours before cutting.